BLOODMOON (continued)
"Solstheim? A terrible place I've heard."


Laurenna came over to congratulate me on giving a good exam to the students. "Well, that went pretty well." she said.

"It certainly did." I replied. "That kid is really impressive. He could probably give ME a few pointers." I thought for a moment. "Making spell scrolls....." I mused. "You know, I've often thought about making some of those myself, but never had the time. They always work, you know."

"I'm sure they do." she replied. Are we heading back home now, or should we hang around a bit?"

"Oh, I suppose we could check some of the shops, see if they have something interesting to buy."

She agreed, and we headed up to the exit.


As we left the building, I nearly slammed the door into the face of an Imperial waiting just outside.

I pardoned myself, asking him what he was doing.

He said his name was Louis Beauchamp.

I introduced myself and my wife. He seems a bit nervous, on-edge, as if he was waiting for the arrival of Azura herself.

"Oh, uh, hello, yes, nice to meet you, Mr and Mrs Dragonmeal." he stammered, constantly shifting his eyes to the sky. "For a second, I thought you were the courier...uh, with a message...uh, with word of my airship."

He pointed to the sky. "Wait!! Is that it? Uh,, oh, it's just a cliffracer. Rats!"      


At this point, even Laurenna was interested. "An airship?" she asked. "What in the world???"

Louis puffed out his chest with pride. "Er, yes, I built an airship, you see." he continued. "Quite a beautiful craft, if I may be so bold. Some scavenged Dwemer parts, a few, uh, long-lasting levitation spells. Very clever, a capital idea, I know! Even hired a gang of...well, a crew I guess you'd call them. They were to fly far to the north. Away from all this dust, all the way to Solstheim! I paid them, and rather well, too. They were to locate Hrothmund's Barrow, and find a certain, uh, item."

"What is Hrothmund's Barrow?" I asked.

"It's a grave, er, I guess you'd call it a crypt." he said, nodding to Laurenna, who nodded back. Nords referred to their tombs as a barrow, and being a Nord herself, she knew exactly what he was talking about.

"Anyway," he continued, "this barrow is said to lie at the eye of the wolf."

He noted the confused look on both of our faces, and decided he'd better explain.

"You see, there's a formation, rock, ice, shaped like a wolf...the wolf that killed Hrothmund! He's said to be entombed at the wolf's eye. The formation is only visible from the sky, or, uh, in this case, from an airship. That's why I built it. You know, build the airship, hire the crew, they find the barrow and recover the amulet, bring it back to me. Perfect plan, I thought......"

"Amulet?" I asked. "What amulet would this be that is so important....."

"Oh, a thing of legend." he interrupted. "According to stories...legends and such...Hrothmund was quite the...well...he had plenty of lady friends! He was ugly, too...ugly as a troll! But he had a magic trinket...he wore it. The Amulet of Infectious Charm, it was called. By all records, he was buried with it. That's why I built the airship...hired the crew. I just...I must have that amulet, Eldorf Dragonmeal. But there's been no word. I worry...I fear the crew has failed me."

He turned and looked to the north west, hoping to see his precious airship, but it was yet another cliffracer.

Laurenna chimed in, "What makes you think they have failed you?" she asked. "Is it possible they are simply still looking for it?"

"Oh, I don't know." he replied sadly. "Did they fly off course? Maybe....maybe they found the amulet, and flew away! To meet women! No fair maiden could resist a man with this an airship, no less!"

He turned to me. "Say, Eldorf Dragonmeal...I don't suppose you're...well...for hire? I would pay you greatly to find my airship. I'd need proof of what happened to it, of course! Evidence, as it were, just to be sure. Oh, and of course, to bring me the amulet! I need that amulet."

I look at Laurenna. She could smell an adventure in the air, and there was a big grin on her face. That was all the answer I needed. I agreed to help him find his missing airship, crew, and this odd amulet that he seemed to need so badly. I could easily guess why he needed it.

"Oh, well, I guess I understand" he started, "....wait...did you say you would help me? Oh, that's wonderful. As I said, the airship north to Solstheim. The Amulet of Infectious Charm is well, in that Barrow I told you about. The eye of the beast...I mean, wolf. But listen: when you arrive there, to enter the Barrow, you must say "Ondjag". Answer wrong, and the barrow will be sealed forever!"

He was like a kid told he was receiving a million gold pieces.

"I must tell you, though, Solstheim...It's a terrible place, I've heard. There's a boat from Khuul that can take you there."

I told him we were familiar with the transportation situation there, living at Solstheim Castle and all.


I turned to Laurenna, and she was ready to go. "Not dressed like that." I countered.

"Should we just pick up some armor here?" she asked.

"No way." I replied.  I took her inside to one of the two spare rooms the Guild has. "Wait right here." I said. "I'll be back in about an hour.

With that, I used the castle return scroll and ended up back in Solstheim Castle.

I gathered up that fancy Royal Guard armor for Laurenna, grabbed a bunch of rings and things for myself, and had my lab assistant enchant one more ring for me: one that would summon a longbow. I was tired of mine vanishing after 60 seconds. This would last as long as I wore the ring. I brought another bow for Laurenna, as well as a number of enchanted arrows. I decided to bring along a bunch of un-enchanted silver arrows. I knew that Ricklings were found in Solstheim, and that they reflect magic effects back, so that would be the way to go.

Once I had my stuff together, I did the Recall spell, ending up in Caldera, walked to the Mage's Guild offices, and used them to return to Ald'Ruhn.


"Wow, that was fast!" exclaimed Laurenna as I opened the door and handed her our "working" clothes.

"Well, I don't want to waste time." I replied. "We leave now and it'll be nightfall by the time we get to Fort Frostmoth."

"I'm ready." she said. "Let's get going!"

I certainly didn't have to twist her arm at all.


We made our way to the stilt strider and headed up to Khuul. The boatman (or boatcat) there was ready for us.


"What can humble S'virr do for you?" he asked.

We told him of our destination: Solstheim Island. He looked down at the dock. "Ah, this one hears bad things about that place." he said. "Many bad things, trouble with solders, they not happy, no."

We told him we still needed to go there, so we got on his ship, and pushed off the dock, on our way to the fort at Solstheim.


It was evening as we hit the docks. I stopped to ask the Argonian boatman (or boatlizard, in this case) about any rumors and such going on.

"Solders not happy." he said. "Maybe answer to why found in fort."


I asked if there was anything else he could tell me.

"Cold is always here." replied Basks-in-the-sun. "All I ask for is a warm pair of boots. Is that too much to ask?"

We looked down at his feet. Sure enough, lizard feet cannot accommodate any boots at all. Poor guy must be freezing is feet off.


We thanked the Argonian for his assistance and headed across the bridge from the dock to the shore.

Even though it was nearly pitch black, we could see the stars clearly, and the fort was just a short walk away.


Looming ahead of us was the start of this interesting journey. We were looking for an airship.

What we would find, however, would be the unexpected.

Then, again, that's pretty much normal around these parts.


We entered the fort, noticing a number of guards patrolling the grounds.

As we approached the well in the center of the courtyard, two of the guards came up to us.

"What do you want?" shouted one of them.     


He had a nasty look about him, as if he had seen one battle too many.

"Well," I started, "we were looking...."

"Ah, damned treasure hunters." he interrupted. "Go see Captain Carius." he growled. "Go see the Captain if you're looking for something to do."

"Sure." I replied. "Where would I find...."

He pointed at the door on my left. "Head through the General Quarters and all the way up to the south staircase. On the third floor are his chambers. That's were you'll find him."

"I see. Uh, thank you." I said.

"Are you here about that colony business?" he growled, not content with being the big help that he was.

"No, not at all." I replied.

"Go see the Captain then." he spat. "I've got grounds to patrol."

As the guards left, I could hear the other one mumble something about future bear food, implying us. Laurenna almost started something with him, but it was late and I didn't want anyone ending up in jail at this hour.

We headed into the fort and started looking for this stairway we had been told about.

I was wondering if we'd be able to find a bed around here, as well.

I could see this would be a nice place to visit.

Yes, there was a note of sarcasm in that last statement.











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